The new movie Searching directed by Aneesh Chaganty is a spectacular thriller. If you are that aspiring filmmaker who sort of feels that fundraising and making a film is a tough task, watch this movie and it will push you to be innovative with the narrative. It is the story of a father searching for his lost teenage daughter and to visualize this drama Aneesh has not used a conventional cinematic camera frame and that’s the most brilliant thing about it.
David Kim is this middle-aged widower who lost his wife to cancer. He has a daughter named Margot Kim whom he loves a lot. One day Margot goes missing and David asks for police help. The movie then shows us how David eventually manages to track down the real criminal behind the abduction using the information available to him.
Facetime app that gets displayed on a Mac screen, Desktop screen, Mobile Screen, CCTV footages, hidden camera footages, online live streaming footages and live television visuals etc are the mediums of showing visuals here. Never in the whole movie, there is a moment of using the conventional camera and yet this movie is exciting and gripping. Now that you have chosen a way to tell your story, the next challenge is to make the story interesting. And the writers have done a fabulous job in that too. The level of intrigue and excitement this movie creates just by placing two tabs of a browser is simply fabulous. And even the twists in the tale are not just a distraction. In a very minimal way, it sheds light on the concept of proper parenting.
This is the first feature film of Hyderabad born Aneesh Chaganty and the guy has announced his arrival with a bang. I still can’t believe that I was at the edge of my seat seeing visuals that are simply screen capture visuals of someone’s personal laptop. Such is the meticulousness of this screenplay written by the director along with Sev Ohanian. Yes, it does have visuals from helicopters and it isn’t exactly a small budget indie film. But the tools Aneesh has used to convey this well-crafted thriller are so simple that if you are someone who is right now delaying the filmmaking dreams giving certain excuses, you might feel guilty for not taking an effort to be unique. Juan Sebastian Baron is the director of photography and this is perhaps that movie where calling him “director of photography” would make more sense than the usual word, cameraman. Edits are also fabulous as those zooming shots and streaming interruptions were cut very precisely keeping us engrossed in the events.
John Cho portrays the anxiety of the caring father very neatly. Debra Messing gets a very pivotal role of a detective who has this responsibility of taking care of her son who needs special care. Michelle La as Margot and Sarah Sohn as Pamela make the family look like an endearing one.
Searching works for you in multiple ways. First and foremost it is a fantastic thriller. Then the way they have made all the modern day technology as the viewpoint of the movie makes it even more exciting. And then there are these layers of character study in a very subtle manner making the characters more humane rather than just black or white. Searching is a well crafted brilliant piece of cinema.
It is the story of a father searching for his lost teenage daughter and to visualize this drama Aneesh has not used a conventional cinematic camera frame and that’s the most brilliant thing about it.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended